This mythological hunting game from an ex-Skyrim dev is coming sooner than I thought

The Axis Unseen revealed some new gameplay, as well as a 2024 release window at the Future Games Show.

view down red clay canyon into a cave, massive skulls hanging over the entrance

The Axis Unseen (opens in new tab), a heavy metal bowhunting game from longtime Bethesda dev Nate Purkeypile (head and sole member of Just Purkey Games), got a fresh trailer at the Future Game Show: Spring Showcase. The trailer revealed some new biomes coming to the game, as well as a release window of some time in 2024.

The Axis Unseen basically hones in on a single Elder Scrolls playstyle, the much-beloved sneak attack archer guy, and builds an entire open world game around its strengths. The Axis Unseen looks way more immersive sim (opens in new tab) than RPG, with Purkeypile placing a huge emphasis on stealth outside simple line-of-sight mechanics. 

Footsteps on different surfaces will alert enemies in a similar fashion to the Thief series, while enemies can track your footsteps just as easily as you do theirs. In an early devlog, Purkeypile even revealed enemies’ capacity to smell you, with a small radius around them expanding based on wind conditions (opens in new tab).

You’re not going to be hunting Bambi’s mom in this game either⁠—Purkeypile’s lining up a selection of Nordic bugaboos that’d be right at home in The Witcher’s Skellige Isles or the rebooted God of War series. In the new Future Games Show trailer, we got a closer look at some of them: a majestic stag with way too many antlers, some leshy-style giant woodmen who don’t react kindly to fire arrows, and a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-looking guy I hope I’m allowed to befriend instead of hunt.

It all takes place in a desolate open world of the “something horrifying and unspeakable seems to have happened here” variety. Sandstone monoliths and towering ossuaries abound, and in addition to the snowy forests of previous trailers we now see sickly green wastes and hazy red sandstorms. For an open world game being made by a single person, we don’t have to wait too long either: the FGS trailer ends by revealing a general 2024 release window for The Axis Unseen, and you can currently wishlist it on Steam (opens in new tab).

Image 1 of 4first person view of drawn bow aiming at a giant wood creature like an ent from Lord of the Rings.(Image credit: Just Purkey Games)view of a dank, dark swamp with path leading out into the muck, overhanging bones(Image credit: Just Purkey Games)a single tree thrusts towards an opening in a cave ceiling with light shafts streaming down(Image credit: Just Purkey Games)view of a striking, triangular sculpture of man being held down by reptilian claws at the top of a stairway to nowhere, all in the center of this red clay canyon(Image credit: Just Purkey Games)

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